My family has roots in Wisconsin, so my affinity for cheese comes naturally. Cheese curds, grilled cheese sandwiches, goat-cheese spread — if it’s cheesy, I’m easy. I even like the stinky French stuff like Camembert. But the stankiest cheese of all is from England, is grown indoors, and requires at least three weeks to cure.
UK Cheese became popular overseas in the ’90s, after a group of British growers going by the name of Exodus reportedly took a phenotype of Skunk #1 and bred it to pull out more creamy, sweet notes. Thanks to the strain’s unique flavor, it didn’t take long for UK Cheese to spread to Amsterdam, then America. Although it’s much easier to find the sweet, creamy funk of a Cheese strain now than it was thirty years ago, the original UK Cheese’s creative high has kept it on dispensary lineups.
Skunk #1 was sort of the OG Kush of its time in terms of cannabis breeding, responsible for a number of strains around the country. As a phenotype, UK Cheese doesn’t necessarily count as a child of Skunk #1 (maybe more of a fraternal twin), but it’s still my favorite spawn. Another cheesy phenotype of Skunk #1 from England, simply called “Cheese,” is an indica-leaning version of UK Cheese and carries a very similar flavor. I tend to gravitate toward hybrids and sativas, though, and UK Cheese is generally easier to find in dispensaries.
The strain is relatively popular in Denver, and is available at Ajoya, Healing House, Nature’s Herbs and Wellness, L’Eagle, Oasis Cannabis Superstores, Peak and Verde Natural Wellness. Ballpark Holistic Dispensary, Good Chemistry, Green Dragon and Lightshade have carried the strain in concentrate form, as well. The funkiest, most flavorful cuts come from L’Eagle and Verde, and they might as well be served with fruit and wine after dinner. Be ready to pay at least $40 an eighth for UK Cheese, but it’s worth the extra pennies on payday.
Looks: UK Cheese comes packaged in triangular, pine-cone-shaped buds that stay compact — but not as dense as most industrial buds can get. Their wintergreen color and bright-orange pistils look almost floral together, and aren’t as jarring as the dark-purple or trichome-covered buds you often see today.
Smell: The strain’s trademark funk is a relaxing combination of berries, sour Skunk and creamy cheese, with a slight earthy scent trailing behind. The smell is so intense it can fill the roof of your mouth at times, almost making you taste it.
Flavor: Although earthier than you might expect, UK Cheese still carries a flavor any pothead would love, and one that even some novice tokers can appreciate. Strong sour notes of berry and Skunk attack the sides of the tongue, and a heavy, earthy aftertaste hits quick. But in between those extremes is a luscious, creamy hint of cheese. Focus on that.
Effects: Easy to handle for high tolerances and occasional users alike, UK Cheese produces a high that’s best suited for daytime but carries a comedown that will still help you fall asleep. The mental stimulation provides a boost in creativity despite a somewhat cloudy mindset, making focusing on more than than one task difficult. The strain’s medical benefits include treating anxiety, mental anguish, eating disorders, fatigue and minor pain.
Home grower’s take: “I know people don’t like it when you use the term ‘musty’ when describing good weed, but fuck it: It’s musty, and that’s a good thing. When it’s in the grow, that blast of pungent cheese, fruit and Skunk almost hits you in phases after walking in, and it makes you really excited to smoke it up. I’d recommend growing it in a dry atmosphere, because those big round buds can be susceptible to mold. You’ll also have to wait a bit, because it takes about seventy days to harvest.”
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